The KF New England Chapter Directors:
Carolyn Czaja Topor
Rev. Charles DiMascola
Joan C. Marsh
Fredrick S. Zimnoch
The Polish Film Festival is Back!
For Immediate Release: October 16, 2023
cell: (413) 387-9764
Chicopee, MA—October is Polish Heritage Month. To celebrate and share the arts and culture of Poland, the Kosciuszko Foundation/New England is proud to present two award-winning films to the public.
The first movie is Sonata (2022), the true story of musician Grzegorz Polonka who was initially diagnosed as autistic. As a young teenager, it was discovered that his isolation was not autism, but hearing loss which masked a great musical talent. The film will be shown on October 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Alumnae Library Theater at Elms College.
Breaking the Limits (2017) is a biopic chronicling the life of Jerzy Gorski, who went from being an addict to a world-class triathlon competitor. As Gorski embarks on his arduous training, audiences are also able to witness life in socialist Poland during the seventies and eighties. In real life, Gorski won the prestigious 1990 Double Ironman competition, and was recognized by the United Nations with the “Champion of Sport, Champion of Life” award. The film will be shown on November 5 at 2:00 p.m. in the Alumnae Library Theater at Elms College.
Both films are free (goodwill offering will be accepted) and are in Polish with English subtitles.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 16, 2023
Kosciuszko Foundation (KF) / New England Chapter Annual Awards Luncheon Celebrates Carolyn Czaja Topor as Distinguished Polish-American for 2023 and KF Scholarship and Grant Recipients
The program will also include Marek Skulimowski, president and executive director of the Kosciuszko Foundation, speaking on the ongoing efforts by the organization to assist
Ukraine through the “Stand With Ukraine” initiative.
Chicopee, MA—The Kosciuszko Foundation / New England Chapter will hold its annual awards luncheon on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at the Willits-Hallowell Center, Mount Holyoke College beginning at 11:30 a.m. The awards luncheon is open to the public, and the facility is handicap accessible.
A highlight of the luncheon is the presentation of the Distinguished Polish-American Award. For 2023, the KF/New England has chosen Carolyn Czaja Topor of South Hadley, MA.
For almost five decades, Carolyn Czaja Topor has been a proud advocate for Polish culture throughout our region. Of Polish descent, she has embraced her heritage and works tirelessly to promote and share with Americans of all backgrounds the history, arts, and culture of her ancestral homeland.
A member of The Kosciuszko Foundation / New England Chapter for 25 years, Carolyn Topor will be retiring from her role as president after 25 years in 2023. During her tenure as president, the chapter has held the annual Awards Luncheon, presented concerts featuring laureates of the Chopin piano competitions celebrating Poland’s greatest composer, brought events showcasing Polish culture to the region, and helped connect younger Polish-American to their heritage through the KF programs. In addition she has served on the National Advisory Council for the main KF for 30 years, and is a founding member of the KF/New England Chapter.
With her husband, Joseph Topor Jr., Carolyn Topor played a pivotal role in the founding of the Polish Center of Discovery and Learning located adjacent to Elms College in Chicopee, MA. The Center is a place dedicated to preserving and maintaining a living connection to Polish-Americans looking to find their roots, and for others to explore Poland’s diverse and unique 1000 year+ history.
For her tireless efforts and leadership in promoting Polish culture, Carolyn Topor has been recognized by numerous organizations. In 2008, she received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Poland’s highest civilian honor, granted to residents abroad for merit rendered to Poland; in 2014, was awarded the Polish Medal of Merit from the Blejwas Endowed Chair/Polish Studies from Central Connecticut State University; and was invested into the Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem by the Vatican in 2018.
A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she is the wife of Joseph Topor Jr., and has an extended family of four children and numerous grandchildren.
Dr. Witold Kawecki, MD, of Plainville, CT, will be acknowledged with the Distinguished Polish-American Award for 2020. Dr. Kawecki passed in 2021. Born in Tarnow, Poland, he was a well-known psychiatrist who practiced for over 40 years in this country. First and foremost, he was a promoter of Polish culture. He served on numerous organizations, many with strong Polish ties, including the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, Polish American Congress-Advisory Council, and the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, among others.
The event also celebrates the academic accomplishments of students who have received financial support from the Kosciuszko Foundation including: scholarship assistance for American students of Polish descent for undergraduate and graduate level studies at colleges and universities in the United States; grants for students to participate in the Summer Program at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow; exchange programs to Polish universities; and funding for Polish scholars to pursue advanced studies at American colleges and universities. The Kosciuszko Foundation provides over $1 million per year for scholarships and grants and encourages students to apply through their website here.
In attendance will also be Marek Skulimowski, president and executive director of the Kosciuszko Foundation, speaking on the ongoing efforts by the organization to assist
Ukraine through the “Stand With Ukraine” initiative. To date, Stand With Ukraine has raised over $1.5 million dollars for Ukrainians in Poland. Initially, the monies were used for the most critical human essentials: food and medical assistance. Stand With Ukraine has been broadened to include educational support for Ukrainian children and funding for scholars and students through “Flying Universities.” Members of the Ukrainian community will also be on hand to show solidarity with the KF’s efforts.
Tickets for the award luncheon and concert are $65.00 and can be reserved by contacting email@example.com.
About the KF/New England
An honored partner of the main Kosciuszko Foundation headquartered in New York, New York, the New England Chapter presents programs and events celebrating and promoting Polish culture and history, as well as increasing awareness of the contributions of Poland to our global community.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 6, 2023
Magdalena Adamek and Emmanuel Feldman in Concert:
“Chopin in Paris–1848” at Mt. Holyoke College
The event is sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation / New England Chapter.
Chicopee, MA—The Kosciuszko Foundation / New England Chapter is honored to present “Chopin in Paris-1848” featuring Magdalena Adamek, a pianist whose interpretations of Chopin have garnered numerous awards, and Emmanuel Feldman, internationally renowned cellist, chamber musician and composer, at Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, on Sunday, March 26, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased via cash or check at the door and students can attend for free. Abbey Chapel is handicap accessible.
The highlight of “Chopin in Paris-1848” will be the Cello and Piano Sonata in G minor, opus 65. This rarely heard work was premiered by cellist Auguste Franchomme, accompanied by Chopin in 1848. It was Chopin’s last public performance, and he passed away the next year. The Sonata was composed in 1846 and was one of nine works by Chopin that was written for instruments other than the piano.
The program will also feature other works by Chopin, including the Nocturne in C# minor, arranged for cello and piano by Gregor Piatigorski, and the Grand Duo Concertant in E major, B. 70 for Piano and Cello.
Magdalena Adamek has enjoyed a vibrant musical career as a concert pianist, pianist-collaborator and teacher. Currently, she serves as a faculty member in the department of music at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the years, Adamek has performed as a soloist and chamber member in venues across the globe including in Poland, Germany, France, Canada, and the United States. She has won numerous awards including 2nd prize and a special distinction for the best performance of a piano work by Frederick Chopin at the International Milosz Magin Piano Competition in Paris.
Emmanuel Feldman has been described as “an outstanding cellist and truly dedicated artist” by the incomparable John Williams. A renowned interpreter of classical music, he is equally at home working on creative projects with folk and jazz singer Bobby McFerrin and the Mark Morris Dance Group. His recital credits include the Boston Pops, Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and the Greensboro Festival Orchestra. A sought-after educator, as well as versatile composer, he also is skilled luthier and is the first cellist to perform standing with his invention, the TekStand. Currently, he is a faculty member at Tufts University and complements his teaching with an active performance schedule.
About the KF/New England
An honored partner with the main Kosciuszko Foundation headquartered in New York, New York, the New England Chapter presents programs and events celebrating and promoting Polish culture and history, as well as increasing awareness of the contributions of Poland to our global community.
The Kosciuszko Foundation is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and increasing American understanding of Polish culture and history.